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Meryl Streep Slams Karl Lagerfeld Over Oscars Dress Drama: He ‘Defamed Me’

Variety logo Variety 2/26/2017 Alex Stedman
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Meryl Streep is firing back at Karl Lagerfeld after the designer claimed that the decorated actress eschewed a Chanel dress in favor of one Streep would be paid to wear at Sunday night’s Academy Awards.

Issuing a statement to media outlets on Sunday morning, Steep said, “Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my stylist, and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in an important industry publication. That publication printed this defamation, unchecked. Subsequently, the story was picked up globally, and continues globally, to overwhelm my appearance at the Oscars, on the occasion of my record-breaking 20th nomination, and to eclipse this honor in the eyes of the media, my colleagues and the audience.”

On Friday, WWD, owned by Penske Media Corporation, which also owns Variety, ran an article in which Chanel’s creative director Lagerfeld made disparaging remarks over Streep’s decision to not wear a Chanel design.

Lagerfeld claimed that he made a sketch, and then began designing the dress. He said that a few days later, however, he received a call from someone in Streep’s camp that said, “Don’t continue the dress. We found someone who will pay us.”

Lagerfeld went on to call Streep, who is nominated at Sunday night’s Oscars for “Florence Foster Jenkins,” “a genius actress, but cheapness also, no?”

On Saturday morning, Lagerfeld issued an apology for his remarks, asserting that he “misunderstood” the situation: “Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep’s stylist, on her request, to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards. After an informal conversation, I misunderstood that Ms. Streep may have chosen another designer due to remuneration, which Ms. Streep’s team has confirmed is not the case. I regret this controversy and wish Ms. Streep well with her 20th Academy Award nomination.”

Streep, however, said in her statement on Sunday that Lagerfeld’s apology would not suffice. “Mr. Lagerfeld’s generic ‘statement’ of regret for this ‘controversy’ was not an apology,” she said.

The three-time Oscar-winner has not yet revealed what designer she will be wearing to the Sunday night ceremony.

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